By Juan Ángel Poyatos, Director and Founder of Voluntare
Back in September 2015, the United Nations set new global priorities under the Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to which 193 countries, globally, committed, with the aims focusing on areas such as ending extreme poverty, combating inequality and injustice and alleviating the effects of, and reversing, climate change.
Now, in those months of the pressing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, everything has changed. It is becoming clearer that we cannot wait for 2030 to achieve the SDGs: we must act more quickly, be united more than ever and do not leave a single moment to complacency.
If something can be taught by crises, it is human beings’ incredible capacity to adapt, overcome the biggest challenges and collaborate. This crisis is not going to be any different. We, volunteers, are the ones who best represent that spirit of solidarity in our societies and we will continue to demonstrate solidarity in these difficult times. If there is one thing, we know, that works, it is collaboration. Between all of us, we can build great things and face complex situations. Our flexibility and diversity make us strong, because it allows us to provide tools and methodologies to face priorities and tackle emergencies.
And in this context, the two networks focused on volunteering, Voluntare (www.voluntare.org) and Volonteurope, following the collaboration over the recent months, are now formally partnering up, to accelerate the achievement of our objectives, expand our global presence, gain more diversity, strengthen our impact and improve our performance in the promotion of volunteering.
Voluntare is an international network for the promotion of corporate volunteering in Spain and Latin America. A space for the meeting and collaboration between organizations, companies and people, it brings together more than 70 companies and entities, among which are Fundación Telefónica, Iberdrola, Fundación Repsol, Fundación CODESPA, volunteers of “la Caixa”, Corresponsibles, KPMG and Endesa. Starting right now, despite the pandemic crisis, we are setting out to work together with Volonteurope, to put in place joint actions in the framework of presenting the results of a study on the “State of Corporate Volunteering in Europe”, at working breakfasts in November 2019 (travel restrictions permitting) in different European cities. We are also hoping to cross-participate in different actions of Voluntare and Volonteurope, for example, the III International Voluntare Corporate Volunteering Congress in Madrid in July 2020, the 29th Annual Conference of Volonteurope in the end of 2020, and other potential events in Europe and Latin America.
But it is true that this is an unprecedented situation in all areas, with unknown socio-economic consequences: the uncertainty affects everything and everyone, so we will have to update our joint actions according to the behaviour and impact of the pandemic, and its terrible consequences. Nevertheless, we are convinced that, together, we are stronger.